Bob's Blog Posts

7/14/2013 Our New RE/MAX FIRST Office
We have grown so much in the past 3 years at RE/MAX FIRST.  It seems almost unbelievable.  WE have gone from an office with aapproximately 23 million dollars in sales with 11 agents to an office of 40+ agents who will likely have 120 million dollars in sales this year.  We are already more then half way there here at mid year. 

If you want to do business with a Real Estate company that is one the move and selling their clients listings at an awesome pace and helpiing buyers strike deals on their new homes that only an experienced RE/MAX agent can do,  then you should give me a call.  I can help you find or sell homes in both Southern Indiana and the Louisville Kentucky metro market.

See our New Office below:
2125 Veterans Parkway Jeffersonville, IN 47130
7/7/2013 How has our office grown?
I have been associated with RE/MAX FIRST in Jeffersonville Indiana since May of 2010.  When I arrived there we had 11 agents and we were clsoing somewhere around 188 transactions a year for a total sales volume of near 25 million dollars.  For an office of 11 agents serving the Southern Indiana housing market that was not too bad.  But today, just 3 years later we are on target to close in the neighborhood og 800 transactions and near 120 million dollars in sales.

Now that is real impressive by anyone's standards.  We now have 33 agents in our Brand New Office on Veterans Parkway in Jeffersonville.  In addition we now have an office in Louisville Kentucky on Brownsboro Road.  The figures for that office are not reflected in the numbers above.   We have 27 agents in that office and we are on target to do more then 60 million dollars in that office this year.

Why should that be importatnt to you if you are a home buyer or seller?

Well I think this is proof positive that what we are doing in the way of agent training and property marketing for our clients is working very well.  In fact probably better then any competitor in our market.

If I were a home owner looking to sell my home, I would want my property listed with the best, the company with aproven track record that surpasses the competition.  If I were a buyer I would want an agent working for me that knows the market and can negotiate the best possible deal for me the buyer.

RE/MAX FIRST is that company. I am that agent. But I don't get all the credit, we have 33 agents that have worked hard to make this the best office in the area.

So if you are looking to buy or sell a home in the future I hope you will call me.  And if you can't call me then by all means call one of the other outstanding agents in our office at RE/MAX FIRST. You can reach me at 502-773-2564 and you can rerach our office at 812-283-4778.
4/7/2013 Now may be the perfext time to buy a home.

Yes that's right. If you have a home under contract by June 01, 2013 you may have just saved yourself tens of thousands of dollars over the life of your loan.

Yes interest rates are still at all time lows. Home prices are still at all time lows. But all of that is about to change in my opinion.

But before we get to that, let's talk about somethinig that is definitely changing. Beginning June 01, 2013 those of us buying a home via an FHA loan (and today that is most of us) you are going to pay a lot more for that loan over time. A whole lot more.......

Here is how it breaks down according Mike Kemp of Kemp Title Company in New Albany, IN.

  • For loans with no more than 10% down (>90% LTV), a borrower used to pay FHA MIP for 5 years or until they hit 78% LTV, whichever came last. The new rule, for all loans where the borrowers initial LTV is greater than 90%, the MIP will be mandatory for the entire term of the loan, even if it is a 30 year mortgage!
  • For loans with more than 10% down (< 90% LTV), PMI will be mandatory for 11 years. This is for ALL new FHA loans, even if the borrower is paying a substantial down payment.
  • For loans with a LTV of less than 78% (<78%), MIP premiums will be priced at 45 bps, where previously no MIP was required.
  • Exempt Tranasctions: Single family streamline refinance transactions for existing FHA loans that were endorsed on or before May 31, 2009. These refiances will carry forward with the MIP rate levels that were announced in March 2012. (ML 2012-04).

    Note: These changes are effective for case numbers assigned on or after June 3, 2013
  • In addition to the longer payment periods referenced above, the monthly premiums collected from the customer will be increasing 5-10 basis points (bps) beginning with case numbers assigned on or after April 1, 2013.

So what that means to the average buyer is if you have been waiting for the right time to buy, THIS IS IT !

Along with the changes to FHA loans the market is beginning to see home prices rise. Which means what you buy tomorrow could possibly be bought today for less money.

If you would like to know more about buying a home now, drop me a line, send me a text, reach me by email.  Either way I would like to help.  My call or text number is 502-773-2564 and my email address is BobMurphy@insightbb.com

6/14/2012 Is this REALLY a GOOD time to Buy or sell a home?
REALTOR's are more aware of what is going on in real estate then most people.  That is quite natural.  It's the business we are involved in as our profession.  It should be expected to be that way.
But when the market is a good as it is today for both home buyers and home sellers it can be very frustrating for REALTOR's when the market isn't moving very fast.  Because with the current market conditions homes should be selling almost as fast as they enter the market.
Interest rates are at unbelievable lows.  In fact rates today are lower then they were when 30 year mortgages were first introduced more than 50 years ago.  Imagine that.  You could buy a home today at rates your Grandparents or even Great Grandparents did when they bought their first home.
Add to that the fact that home prices are lower now then they were probably 10 years ago and you have a perfect time to make a home purchase. 
So where are all the buyers?  How do we get the word out that there really has not been a better time to buy in many many years?  How do we help people, especially people in Southern Indiana and the Louisville Kentucky Metro market understand this is their time to buy a home?
By the way it's a great time to sell too, if you are a move up buyer.  The loss or lower sale price you will likely sell your current home for compared to what you might have gotten a few years ago is far outweighed by the money you will save on a move up purchase for the same reason.
5/31/2012 Congress Passes 60-day Flood Insurance Extension

Rob Freeman of REALTOR Magazine reports below on Flood Insurance.  This article appeared in the latest issue of REALTOR Magazine.

Congress Passes 60-Day Flood Insurance Extension

Congress passed and sent to President Obama a 60-day extension of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) yesterday, which was set to expire today. The legislation gives lawmakers breathing room to look at a long-term extension and reform of the program, which NAR strongly supports.

The program, which provides federal backing of flood insurance for some 5.6 million home owners in 21,000 communities around the country, has been subject to more than a dozen short-term reauthorizations similar to yesterdays in the last four years. Since 2008, the program has lapsed twice, with one such lapse lasting almost two months in 2010. NAR estimates that some 1,300 transactions a day were stalled during that lapse, creating enormous economic dislocations for the communities in which the properties were located. NAR has estimated that 8 million homes, or about 10 percent of all homes in the country, are located in either the 100-year flood plain or other types of flood hazard areas.

In testimony before the Senate Banking Committee earlier this month, NAR President Moe Veissi asked lawmakers to turn to long-term extension of the program as soon as possible. All stopgap extensions do is maintain an uncertain status quo while shut downs risk homes, businesses, communities, and the U.S. economy, he told the committee. NAR is urging lawmakers to reauthorize the program for five years and make reforms to increase the programs efficiency.

Among those reforms are changes to the appeals process for areas designated as flood hazards areas, streamlining and improving the review process for flood mapping, and making the pricing structure more accurate.

More on flood insurance, NARs position, and President Veissis testimony is at REALTOR Magazines Speaking of Real Estate blog.

By Rob Freedman, REALTOR® Magazine

Read More

NAR: Congress Extends Flood Insurance for 60 Days

5/27/2012 It's a Great Time to Buy a Home
Today on CNN it was reported there hasn't been a better time to buy a home in more than 60 years.  Interest rates haven't been this low sionce long term loans were first introduced in the 1950's for home purchases.  In addition home values are better than they have been in a very long time.  I suppose one benefit of the mortgage crisis the past few years is that appraisal values on homes have gotten back to where they probably really should be.
New Construction in the Southern Indiana market is priced lower per square foot then we have seen in several years.  The cost per square foot of new construction has been affected by the mortgage crisis as well.
Short sales and foreclosures have also helped to bring down home prices as well. Appraisers today are dealing with a lower property comparison value as a tresult of things like Short Sales.
It all boils down to a huge opportunity for move up buyers and first time home buyers.
If you have been in your home for 5 or more years this may be the best time you will see for a long time to move up.  If you are a first time home buyer this is an awesome time for you to buy as well.
Home prices are beginning to move upward though.  So this opportunity may not last a lot longer.
If you think you would like to explore the possibility of a move up or you are a possible first time home buyer, I hope you will give me a call and let me help you determine the best course of action for you.  You can call or text me at 502-773-2564 or visit my website at www.BobMurphyOnLine.com and select "contact me " to drop me an email.
5/14/2012 Buying a Home has never been Cheaper
UPDATED 1:47 PM EDT May 08, 2012
House for sale, real estate

Molly Riley/Reuters

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -

Buying a home may never get any cheaper than this. Several housing experts are predicting that this year will be the last chance for bargain hunters to cash in on the best deals of the weak housing market.

With home prices down 34% nationally since 2006 and mortgage rates at historic lows, homes have never been more affordable -- but it won't stay this way for much longer.

Stuart Hoffman, chief economist for PNC Financial Services, said he expects home prices to flatten out by the third quarter and start climbing by next year.

A number of factors will help bolster the housing market, he said, including a decline in the number of foreclosures and continued job growth. In addition, homebuyers will have better access to mortgages as they get their finances in order and improve their credit scores.

Some economists, like Trulia's Jed Kolko, expect home prices to pick up even more quickly. Trulia's data shows that the national average for asking prices already increased 1.4% in the first quarter of 2012, compared with the last three months of 2011.

"This is a strong indicator that we will start seeing home price indexes, like the S&P/Case-Shiller, start to report home price increases this summer," he said.

Prospective homebuyers who've been sitting on the fence shouldn't worry if they aren't quite ready to make the leap. Analysts are predicting that the initial price gains will be modest, at least, in most markets.

Hoffman, for example, is forecasting a 2% increase in 2013 compared with 2012. Meanwhile David Stiff, chief economist for Fiserv, predicts that prices will turn in the last quarter of 2012 and will rise 4.2% for the 12 months through September 2013.

Foreclosures start to fade. One major factor that will drive the trend is the cooling of the foreclosure crisis. Stan Humphries, chief economist for Zillow, said that the percentage of mortgage loans 90 days or more late, a good predictor of future foreclosures, is "falling fast."

That percentage dropped 15% year-over-year to 3.1% through the end of 2011, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. And the decline is accelerating: More than 70% of the decline came in the last three months of the year.

Before things slow down, however, buyers should brace themselves for a temporary spike in the number of foreclosures as banks start expediting the processing of hundreds of thousands foreclosures that were stuck in the system following the robo-signing scandal. That backlog should move more quickly now that new guidelines for processing foreclosures have been outlined in the $26 billion foreclosure settlement.

Many of the bank-owned properties currently coming out of the foreclosure pipeline are being snapped up by investors who are fixing them up and renting them out -- often to those who were displaced by the foreclosure of their own home. That has helped to lift prices on foreclosed properties, according to Alex Villacorte, the director of analytics for Clear Capital, which specializes in housing market valuations.

"That could have a significant impact on the market overall in terms of providing a rising floor to home values," he said.

In some markets hit hard by foreclosures, the turnaround in prices is already underway. Phoenix recorded an 8.4% jump in home prices during the three months ended April 30, compared with the three months ended January 31, according to Clear Capital.

"It's crazy," said Tanya Marchiol, founder of Team Investments, a Phoenix real estate investing firm. "Stuff I was selling six months ago for $60,000 to $80,000 is now $90,000 to $110,000."

Miami saw a 4.6% increase quarter-over-quarter through April, and Tampa, Fla., was up 4.4%, according to Clear Capital.

Goodbye 3.9% mortgage. In addition to home prices, mortgages could also move higher.

Mortgage rates have been at or near historic lows for much of the past six months. The average interest rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage has not topped 4.5% since July 2011 and this week, it hit 3.84%, a new low.

But rates aren't expected to remain at these record-low levels much longer. As the economy continues to recover, rates will move higher, said Doug Lebda, CEO of LendingTree, the online lending site. Although, he said, they will "stay very reasonable."

The Mortgage Bankers Association is forecasting that the 30-year fixed will hit 4.5% by the end of the year.

Greater demand for loans will help fuel the increase, according to Lebda.

Even though mortgage rates have been cheap, borrowing for home purchases has been sluggish. The Mortgage Bankers Association estimates that homebuyers will take out mortgage loans totaling about $415 billion this year, an increase of less than 3% compared with 2011. Next year, however, it forecasts that amount will almost double to $706 billion.

As housing markets stabilize and prices stop falling, homebuyers will be even more confident about buying, said Humphries.

"People can now see the light at the end of the tunnel," he said. "And that can be enough to get them off the fence."

3/25/2012 What about the market today. The Housing market that is.

WOW! Short Sales, Foreclosures, deed's in Leiu of, auctions, land contracts.

The market is definitely different today then it was just a few short years ago. There was a time when I would bet that most people didn't know what a "Short Sale" was. I use to make a joke that "You might be a Red Neck Realtor if...You thought a Short Sale is when a midget buys a home." I know that's not fair to midgets. Sorry about that. I have a lot of "You might be a Red Neck Realtor if" jokes. But that's a subject for a different day.

However today some of those jokes aren't quite as funny as they use to be.

In my market nearly 30% of all real estate sales are foreclosure sales. 30% and maybe more are Cash purchases. I personally have three or four "Short Sale" listings right now. .

Please don't get me started on the low appraisal's we are getting lately either.

Oh yeah, lets not forget about the massive number of Foreclosure's. Or what about Deed in Leiu of Foreclosure?

There was also a time when people would do whatever they could to keep the home they were living in. Home ownership was something one worked towards, the American Dream. Today I see people just walking away from a mortgage they can no longer afford. Or from homes that aren't worth what they paid for them just a few short years ago.

Seems like every effort we have made as a government just aren't working to straighten this whole thing out.

So here is my question for you. What do you think should be done, or even can be done to get our country back on the track of home ownership?

3/11/2012 Are you on Facebook?
Facebook is a great place to keep up with friends, family and even business.  It's a place to share you with the rest of your friends.  If you would like to join me on Facebook click the Facebook emblem below.  I woould like to get to know you.

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2/29/2012 RE/MAX National Housing Report




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Robert Murphy
Mobile Phone: 502-773-2564
Text: 502-773-2564
RE/MAX FIRST
2123 Veterans Pkwy
Jeffersonville, IN 47130
Office: 812-283-4778

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